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A systematic mapping protocol: what are the impacts of different upstream business models in the agriculture and forestry sector on sustainable development in tropical developing countries?

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As a result of rising global food and energy insecurity, investors are increasingly seeking new opportunities in tropical developing countries endowed with comparatively cheap and abundant land resources. Predominantly targeting the agriculture and forestry sectors, these investments could make valuable contributions to the economies of developing countries. However, with most investors opting for plantation-oriented business models, in the context of weak governance regimes within many host countries, many fear that these investments may instead exacerbate socio-economic vulnerabilities and processes of environmental degradation. Therefore, there is a need to explore alternative upstream business models that are more inclusive of the poor and are more aligned with emergent green growth objectives. This systematic map aims to contribute to this debate by cataloging empirical studies conducted on the sustainability of different upstream business models in the agriculture and forestry sector (e.g. involving the cultivation of raw materials). The mapping will offer an overview of the type and quantity of research conducted to date, remaining knowledge gaps, and areas warranting a systematic review.

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